In the final act of the Mister Max trilogy, the 12-year-old solutioneer is confronted with his biggest problem yet: masterminding the rescue of his parents, held captives as king and queen of a small South American country.
After an arduous journey over land and sea, Max, the son of theatrical parents for whom all of life seems a stage play, cleverly adopts one pose after another in his attempt to maneuver the complicated politics of Andesia, a country rife with kidnapped children, corruption, and poverty. This third book is markedly different in tone from the first two; it is far more somber, intricately plotted, and packed with dense descriptions. Although lacking much of the humor of the earlier books, it is carefully crafted and suspenseful, with a satisfyingly dangerous yet successful rescue. Max’s incipient teenage years are evident as he begins to see his egotistical father more clearly and to want to live independently of his parents. Highly detailed black-and-white illustrations effectively reflect the novel’s setting at the beginning of the last century.
Not a stand-alone book, this conclusion will appeal to those who enjoy a challenging read and who have followed Max’s previous adventures. (Adventure. 10-14)